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I've included links to purchase some of my favorite books on landscaping with native plants.

Bringing Nature Home

Everyone should own this book as it really explains the relationships between plants and insects and all life that depend upon them.

Native Trees for North American Landscapes

A book that is great for determining native trees to add to your landscape.


Native Plants of the Midwest

The "Go To" book for selecting plants for your midwest landscape.


Midwestern Native Shrubs and Trees

Good book to help determine native replacements for non-native trees/shrubs.


The Midwestern Native Garden

Good book for selecting native plants for a site.

Reference Books

About Landscaping Reference Books

Reference books are filled with a wealth of information on the topic of landscaping with native plants.

Find useful information on site selection, preparation, design, planting, and maintenance.

Landscaping with Native Plants

These reference books provide the hows AND whys of landscaping with native plants.


Bringing Nature Home: How You Can Sustain Wildlife with Native Plants, Updated and Expanded

by Douglas W. Tallamy (Author), Rick Darke (Foreword)

This book explains the importance of using native plants in our landscapes to support wildlife. In contrast it explains how most non-native plants support very little wildlife. Our native plants are eaten by herbivores (mostly insects). These insects in turn become food for other insects and many nesting birds. Without the insects, most birds find little to feed their nestlings. By creating landscapes of alien plants that support no insects, we create a sterile landscape. This book should be required reading for everyone. It really explains the roles of plants and insects in sustaining life on the planet.

The Living Landscape: Designing for Beauty and Biodiversity in the Home Garden

by Rick Darke (Author), Douglas W. Tallamy (Author)


Native Trees for North American Landscapes

by Guy Sternberg (Author), James W. Wilson (Author), Jim Wilson (Author)

Trees are often an integral part of our landscapes, but most people do not plant our life sustaining native trees. This is an excellent guide for choosing our many unique and beautiful native trees & shrubs for landscaping. Of course these native trees support life by nurturing hundreds of insect species that in turn provide food for nesting birds.

The Prairie Garden: Seventy Native Plants You Can Grow in Town or Country

J. Robert Smith (Author) Beatrice S. Smith (Author)

Even though this is an older book (1980), it is still full of good advice for growing native prairie plants from seed. Its best quality are the detailed accounts on growing 70 species of prairie plants. Included in the accounts are height, flowering time, seed collection date, seed treatment, propagation, and companion plants. It's also a good guide for creating a small prairie planting.

Native Landscaping for Wildlife and People

by Dave Tylka (Author)

This is such a good book for landscaping in Missouri with native plants and works well in eastern Kansas as well.

Butterfly & Pollinator Reference Books

Once you start growing native plants you will be amazed at the variety of butterflies and other pollinators that you attract. These reference books are a great resource for identification and providing necessary habitat.

A Photographic Field Guide to the Butterflies in the Kansas City Region

by Betsy Betros (Author)

For those in eastern Kansas and western Missouri this guide covers our common and rare butterflies of the region. I really like that it provides information on the life cycles of each species.

Gardening for Butterflies: How You Can Attract and Protect Beautiful, Beneficial Insects

by The Xerces Society (Author)

This is a fantastic book that explains all the stages of a butterflies life and the host and nectar plants that they require to prosper.

Attracting Native Pollinators: The Xerces Society Guide, Protecting North America's Bees and Butterflies

by The Xerces Society (Author), Dr. Marla Spivak (Foreword)

This is another book that should be in everyone's personal library. Learn about our pollinators as well as their habitat needs for nesting and foraging.

Pollinators of Native Plants: Attract, Observe and Identify Pollinators and Beneficial Insects with Native Plants

by Heather N. Holm (Author)

Another favorite book. I like how it focuses on specific plant species and specific pollinator species.


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